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Both Can Be True

This week began with the knowledge that we would be returning to Jackson, Michigan to grieve the passing and celebrate the life of Hilda Diana McCollum.

We experienced both of those feelings of grief for her death and gratefulness for her life sometimes altogether in one breath - one moment. Memories flooded our hearts and minds as we saw pictures and talked about her. There were tears and laughter, sadness and joy, pain and gladness all mingled together.

After we hugged, listened, and talked at the viewing we headed over to a restaurant that we thought would be "quieter," so that we could talk together. There were 17 of us that packed into one of the rooms, only to find that it was karaoke night.

I was disappointed...and we embraced the chaos - many from our tribe decided to sing their hearts out! So many children and teenagers sang from their guts, and we cheered wildly, sang so loud with them, that people came from the kitchen to see who was being so raucous in the back dining room. The pinnacle of that evening karaoke was watching Nate, Jonathan and Ken (YEP! KEN-the one YOU know!) singing "Don't Stop Believin'" at the very TOPS of their vocal ranges (OR NOT). Can you tell from the picture?! They were trying their hardest! Haha!

While our hearts were sad we met together sharing a table, singing songs, gratefully eating food as friends and chosen family and celebrating our shared history, our continued friendship, and our hearts. Though we were hurting - we were also so happy to be together. For, as my wise friend said this weekend, "both can be true" at the very same time. We hold in tension so many opposite things all at once.

Maria Shriver, this last Sunday in The Sunday Paper said it so well. After the last couple of weeks of the bridge collapsing, and the sadness of the aftermath, and watching what is happening in Gaza, Israel, and the divisions of our country and world, these were her words.

"How do I stay grounded in this chaotic world? How do I love when there is so much hatred? How do I stay hopeful amidst all this pain? These are questions so many of us wrestle with. As beautiful as it is, our world can sometimes be too much. How might we rise above the noise and find the divine?"

Can these be true at the very same time? 1-staying grounded while living in a chaotic world; 2 - loving while hatred abounds; 3 - staying hopeful amidst all the pain; (and then a few of my own?!) 4 - mending fences when relationships are so very messy and polarized; 5 - finding courage to try again when all seems lost; 6 - taking one baby step at a time when I feel I must run to catch up... In all of these instances "both can be true" - at the same time. Correct?

Last week I posted something on Facebook, and it BLEW UP! People commented that I didn't even know paid attention, and it got loud and sad. I took it down. People I have known and loved and walked through such messy times with began battering one another with their own version of "TRUTH." It was really discouraging. Now, back to Maria Shriver...

"Collapse, search and rescue, some ways this reflects the patterns of human nature, doesn't it? "...each of us can collapse or dissolve at times in our lives as well. Of course, when this happens in our own lives, rarely do we have a search and rescue team, but we do need tools to rise again. We need support, for sure, but also love, attention, and patience. We need to learn how to reimagine ourselves and how to slow down to take stock of all the small, but meaningful aspects of our lives."

In the middle of reading that paragraph - I wanted to jump up and down! For in the moments of our greatest difficulties over the last 4 years - I can honestly tell you that there were/are people who SHOWED UP/SHOW UP!! Dave and Leslie came and found us, they and so many others were our search and rescue team, as we found ourselves nowhere close to rebuilding, but just trying to survive.

Rick and Paula just kept reaching out, holding us close in prayer, talking with us and grieving as well. Our small group kept moving in and around us online, coming to Dad's funeral, shocking us with their love and care. New and old friends continued building supports to help stabilize us. For while we were floundering in the murky deep - life boats just continued/continue to arrive.

While we felt like we were dying we were being thrown lifelines.

I am saying all of this to remind us (myself included) that the very fact that we are experiencing all of this means - we are indeed still alive! And, we have much to live for.

(Kenny G and I smiling) (Easter dinner w/Mom, Uncle David, Amy and Lisa) (SUCH A GREAT READ)

We have just come through Easter. Dying and resurrection were celebrated, memorialized and cherished. Holy Saturday reminded us of the limbo we feel sometimes on the daily! When death has come it is hard to think of resurrection being just around the corner.

I end this entry with a hymn that speaks to all of this...

"Under his wings - I am safely abiding.

Tho' the night deepens and tempests are wild.

Still I can trust him; I know he will keep me.

He has redeemed me, and I am his child.

Under his wings - what a refuge in sorrow.

How the heart yearningly turns to his rest!

Often when earth has no balm for my healing.

There I find comfort and there I am blest."

William O. Cushing (the writer of the song) was onto something. Right? Acknowledging the storms all around while grounding himself in the love, care and attention of God brought his faith to new depths.

Tonight I am sad, and I am grateful. (For both can be true!)

Tonight I am tired, and I am hopeful for rest. (For both can be true!)

Tonight I am wondering at the rebuilding and reimagining processes that are taking place in the very rubble of collapse. (For both ARE true!)

Love you all!

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